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Stefan Fule: EU is determined to lend support to Tunisia

Published the:  31/03/2011

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March 31, 2011 TAP - The European Union (EU) is determined to bring support to Tunisia and is "re-thinking" its foreign aid, said, on Thursday in Tunis, European Commissioner in charge of European Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule.
The latter specified, in a statement to media at the end of a meeting he had with Interim Prime Minister Béji Caid Essebsi, that EU financial assistance to Tunisia for the years 2012-2013 will be doubled.
This aid aims to reinforce civil society's position and vitalise economic and social development in the country's underprivileged areas, namely the Tunisian midlands and south, he added.
Mr. S. Fule, currently on a two-day working visit in Tunisia in company of European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom, described the talks he had with members of the Interim Government as "intense" and "fruitful".
The EU is ready to help Tunisia with the Constituent Assembly elections, he said. "It is essential that these elections take place in a transparent, free and democratic way", he pointed out.
The European Commissioner's visit in Tunisia also provided him with the opportunity to discuss with Tunisian officials the priorities and objectives of Tunisian-EU co-operation.
Mr. Fule also explained that, last March 8, the EU Commission and High Representative for Foreign Policy Catherine Ashton had issued a joint statement on the European relations with the Mediterranean with a view to setting up "a partnership for shared democracy and prosperity with the southern shore of the Mediterranean".
"We came here to discuss this issue. The EU is ready to help Tunisia in its commitment to make of the transition to democracy a success", Stefan Fule concluded.